LGBTI global news 24-7

Miss Singapore 2012 contestants debate transgender competition

All Miss Universe beauty contests will have to accept transgender women from 2013, following Jenna Talackova’s successful campaign earlier this year
Contestants for Miss Universe Singapore 2012 (l-r): Wee Mei Mei, Sharmaine Toh, Michelle Qiu

Contestants in the Miss Universe Singapore 2012 beauty pageant gave contrasting views on transgender women competing for the crown next year.

Prompted by the controversy of Jenna Talackova, a transwoman who was barred and then finally accepted into a beauty pageant in Canada, all regions of Donald Trump’s Miss Universe empire will have to welcome transgender contestants in 2013.

Yahoo! Singapore asked the beauty pageant finalists if transwomen should be allowed to compete.

Two contestants, marine trader Michelle Qiu and environment campaigner Jody Liu agreed that transwomen should be allowed in beauty pageants.

‘It would be a good step forward for Singapore,’ Qiu said, adding that it would contribute too a ‘more open-minded and caring society’.

‘It would be fun,’ said Liu. ’It would provide a new perspective on how beauty pageants are run, and how the competition would go.’

However another contestant, Lynn Tan, said: 'I believe that when transgenders take part in a beauty pageant, it devalues the (inherent) uniqueness of women.’

Despite Tan’s objection, Miss Singapore will have to accept transgender contestants from next year because it is part of Donald Trump’s Miss Universe operation.

Organizers of Miss Universe Singapore, Derrol Stepenny Promotions, told Yahoo! Singapore that they were waiting for specific guidelines from the Miss Universe had office. A spokesperson said:

‘I don’t know if there’ll be any in Singapore who’re interested to be participating. It would be interesting to see. As we’re still waiting on the specifics of the guidelines, I would assume they [transgender women] would still have to go through the normal strict selection process that we have.’

Miss Universe Singapore 2012 competition will be on 9 September.

Comment on a news story